Last year’s men’s 10K winner, Andrew Brodeur, is back to defend his title in today’s 2015 High Mountain Coffee 10K in Williamsfield, Manchester.Danielle Tauro, the 2015 women’s champion, will be absent but another massive turnout from both local and overseas participants is anticipated again this year.Brodeur, from the Shore Athletic Club in New Jersey, United States, won last year’s 10K race in 31:38. The Duke University student was virtually unchallenged after the 3K mark as he romped to the title.With the inclusion of the 5K Walk, 5K Run and wheelchair race this year, the day’s activities will begin at 2 p.m. The main event, the 10K race, is set to start at 3:30 p.m.The High Mountain Coffee road race started in 1983 and is the island’s longest-running road race. It is also the foundation of many of the nation’s top past distant runners, including Mardrea Hyman, Kemoy Campbell and Natoya Goule.Meet chairman John Minott says the event continues to be a landmark in Jamaica’s road racing.”This is a wonderful event that we are extremely proud of. We have seen it grow in excitement and the involvement of not just participants but the Jamaican public on a whole. The race has contributed to the development of many Jamaican distant runners, through their participation from schools they attended, and a number of them have gone on to carve out running careers overseas,” he noted.More than $300,000 are up for grabs in cash and prizes. Adults will pay an entrance fee of $1,000 for all events. There is no fee for children.Knutsford Express has arranged a special fare for persons living in Kingston who wish to view or compete in the event. Same-day return is $2,900 while same-day one-way is $1,800.Proceeds from the race will go to the Mandeville Regional Hospital’s renal unit for the fourth straight year.
BEST SHOWING In the fifth-round game on Friday, they put up perhaps their best showing of the tournament, posting 210 for five to overcome Guyana by 86 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method. One of the keys for Jamaica will be the form of West Indies batting star Stafanie Taylor, who has already stroked two half-centuries in the tournament. Barbados, meanwhile, will see winning the final as the crowning of a great campaign over the last two weeks. They, too, suffered a second-round washout at Gilbert Park against Guyana and then proceeded to whip South Windwards by 126 runs after getting up to 212 for eight batting first at National Cricket Centre. The key to Barbados’ success has been their batting with opener Hayley Matthews, Deandra Dottin, Kyshona Knight, Malissa Howard and captain Shaquana Quintyne all getting half-centuries throughout the tournament. PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC): Defending champions Jamaica will take aim at their second straight title when they take on unbeaten Barbados in the final of the Regional Women’s Super50 today. The two topped the standings after the fifth preliminary round of the competition was completed Friday, and will now do battle at the National Cricket Centre for the honour of Caribbean women’s champions. Barbados were outstanding throughout the round robin phase, topping the standings with 18 points from three wins, with one tied game and one no-result. Jamaica, meanwhile, finished second in the standings on 16 points, after also winning three, but losing one and enduring one no-result. Today’s final will be a repeat of the first-round clash when Barbados prevailed over the Jamaicans by 32 runs. On that occasion, Jamaica were let down by their batting. Chasing a mere 173 for victory, the Jamaicans faltered badly and failed to get past 150. Their batting did not improve significantly afterward, even though they went on a winning streak to close out the preliminaries strongly. Following their abandoned game with South Windwards, they defended 148 to crush the lowly North Windwards by 16 runs in the third round before beating then leaders Trinidad and Tobago in a pivotal fourth-round game by 19 runs in Couva.
It did not end there, as 21-year-old Odean Edwards had an armchair ride aboard his first ride, FIFTYONESTORM, at 8-5 in the fifth race over the straight and repeated the feat aboard 7-2 chance LUCKYBEGOOD, who made all impressively over 1300 metres in the sixth. Edwards, who is popularly called ‘Dino’, secured as many as five rides on the card. A past student of Bridgeport High, Edwards is apprenticed to trainer Richard Azan. Steadman rounded off a fantastic day for the apprentices with victory aboard the highly fancied SIR D for trainer Ryan Darby in the closing race over the straight for $180,000 claimers. Outgoing principal of the Jockeys’ School, Ina Lawrence, the JRC welfare officer, said she was elated that the youngsters came out on the first day and provided a treat for racing fans. “It was a fitting retirement present on my last day at work. I go on pre-retirement leave after today and, mindful of this, they said they would do something special for me. Five winners from 10 races is more than enough,” said Lawrence, who will be succeeded by Shantell Clarke. Meanwhile, ‘handicap certainty’ PERFECT NEIGHBOUR romped the $1.2 million Governor General’s Stakes over 2000 metres, winning the 56th running of the grade one race for the second straight year. Ridden by in-form Robert Halledeen for trainer Wayne DaCosta, the 2013 derby and St. Leger winner, came through on the inside of long-time leader, UNCLE TAF, approaching the final bend and proceeding to beat reigning ‘Horse of the Year’, TYPEWRITER, by five lengths as the 1-2 favourite. TODAY’S PROGRAMME, TIPS ON B6 IMPRESSIVE The new apprentice riders who recently graduated from the Jockeys’ School had an immediate impact on their first day in the saddle at Caymanas Park yesterday, three of them sharing five winners on the 10-race programme. Linton Steadman and Odean Edwards led the way with two winners, both winning aboard their very first rides. Steadman, 24, a past student of Waterford High, stunned the large crowd when winning aboard the 16-1 outsider, VISION, for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta in the third race over 1100 metres for the Keeling Memorial Cup. The grey colt ran on strongly from way off the pace to catch his previously unbeaten stable-companion DREAMLINER, the howling 1-5 favourite, in the closing stages. That marked the start of an apprentice rout, as in the very next race, Hakeem Pottinger, the 21-year-old son of ex-jockey Michael Pottinger, brought 2-1 chance MARIA’S GLORY for trainer Gary Griffiths with a strong run for a decisive win over a mile.
Former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director, Jackie Hendriks, believes the regional governing body was wrong in its decision to suspend West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, for recent comments he made regarding team selection. Hendriks, a retired president of the Jamaica Cricket Association, is of the opinion that what should have been done instead was for Simmons to be reprimanded with a warning. “I can understand the frustration that Simmons may have felt with him going and talking to (Dwayne) Bravo and (Kieron) Pollard, and wanting them to play, and his frustration of not getting them to be a part of the one-day squad,” said Hendriks. “However, it’s rather unfortunate the comments he made. They were totally out of place, and temperate, and, should have been kept to himself,” added Hendriks. “However, having said that, I don’t believe the action of the board to suspend him was the right one.” “I think it was a bit harsh, given that it is the head coach we are dealing with, and, could have been handled in a much more diplomatic manner,” Hendriks said. Continued Hendriks: “He (Simmons) should have been called in, and be asked to explain the reason behind his outbursts. “Thereafter, a stern warning should have been issues that such utterances are unacceptable, and a repeat of would lead to his ultimate dismissal.” Simmons, said he believed there were outside “interference” in the selection of the one-day team for Sri Lanka. According to the 52-year-old Trinidadian, who was this summer offered the reigns of the regional side, he along with chairman of selectors, Clive Lloyd, was of the opinion that Bravo and Pollard should be included in the team, however, other selectors disagreed. Former West Indies players Courtney Walsh, Courtney Browne, and Eldine Baptiste, are the other voting members on the selection panel. Meanwhile, Hendriks, who represented the West Indies in the 1960s as a wicketkeeper, said he found it rather “peculiar” that Bravo and Pollard are good enough for the Twenty20 team and not the one-day side. He said, while not exceptional, the duo remain two of the region’s best limited overs players, and deserved a place in both regional squads. “I find it peculiar that they are selected for the Twenty20 team, and not the one-day team,” he said. “They are two of the players we have in limited overs cricket, and as such I am still struggling to see why they were not in the World Cup squad to begin with, and now not in the one-day squad for Sri Lanka. The West Indies are down to play two Tests, three one-dayers, and two Twenty20s, respectively, while on tour of Sri Lanka.
Form players experienced a tough time at Caymanas Park yesterday, ensuring that the Pick-9 and first Super-6 had no takers.Both exotic bets boast attractive carry-overs to next Saturday’s Alex’s Imports Gold Cup meet, featuring the 44th running of the popular grade one race over 1400 metres.With the fancied horses failing to deliver for the most part, doubles, triples, superfectas, trifecta, hi-fives and exacts paid handsomely. The programme produced no startling upsets, but with most of the winners returning odds ranging from 8-1 to 9-2, it spelt grief for punters.Only one favourite managed to oblige – KING WITHIN – at 8-5, with former champion Omar Walker aboard in the fourth. Apprentices Linton Steadman and Hakeem Pottinger had doubles on the card.The Pick-9 carry-over is now in excess of $2 million and the first Super-6 at $1.2 million.Meanwhile, the lightly raced but progressive three-year-old gelding, GOLD MEMBER (9-2), truly impressed in winning the restricted allowance race over the straight for three-year-olds, posting his second win over the distance on consecutive Saturdays.Ridden by Ruja Lahoe for trainer Gresford Smith and owners New Blue, the chestnut gelding by Adore The Gold out of Lady Chachi won by four lengths in the smart time of 58.0. GOLD MEMBER is a half brother to 2011 2000 Guineas winner Big Man Boyu (War Marshall – Lady Chachi).
CHANCE TO PROVE HIMSELF Kurt Roberts, who was a surprise winner in Shanghai, will get a chance to prove that this was no fluke with world champion Joe Kovacs and other heavyweights such as Tom Walsh and Reese Hoffa, who have both gone above 21m already this year as well as Ryan Whiting and Jordan Clarke, all guaranteeing a high-quality showdown and more than enough motivation for the Jamaican. Last year, Richards logged 20.06m and seventh place at this meet during a period where he only registered two throws that got to 21m in his first 10 meets. Still, besides his need to get back in top physical condition, there isn’t too much that the Jamaican should be worried about if last season is anything to go by, after five of his seven post-June throws landed beyond the 21m mark. EUGENE, Oregon: World championships bronze-medal winner and national record holder O’Dayne Richards will be looking for major improvement as he competes today in the men’s shot put at the two-day Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Richards is the only Jamaican in action on the opening day of what is expected to be an intriguing weekend of track and field in Eugene, with the women’s long jump and women’s discus events being the other two Diamond League events on the schedule for the day. The Jamaican will compete at 8:18 p.m. (10:18 p.m. Jamaica time). Richards, who twice threw 21.69m last season, including during the final at the World Championships in Beijing, China, was a shadow of himself during his season-opening series at the recent Shanghai Diamond League meet in China. The MVP star could only manage a 19.22m effort, which left him down the pile, but he will be hoping to get closer to the 21m mark as he continues to regain his strength and confidence following surgery a few weeks ago. Richards had a metal rod implanted in his shin bone through his knee after taking measures to correct a stress fracture in the shin. After his competition, the 27-year-old admitted that he was somewhat scared to push himself in the circle in Shanghai. He is aware that he has a lot of work to do if he is to get back to his best form in time for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. It may still be too early to expect too much from the thrower, but he will certainly not be short on inspiration given the quality of the athletes gathered in Eugene for this event.
K.C. Graham: All eyes will be on Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce today in the women’s 100m as there is speculation that she is not yet ready to compete with the big girls due to a toe injury.Lowe: She certainly isn’t ready and has said as much, noting yesterday that this is a test to see where she is. Still, she’s a fighter and will try her best I’m sure. However, after missing as much training as she has, it’s hard to see her winning here.K.C. Graham: And the field is a quality one as there are four sub-10.80 seconds athletes in the field although I do not expect much from Carmelita Jeter and it will be interesting to see how Blessing Okagbare runs here after being easily beaten by Elaine Thompson recently.Lowe: Fraser-Pryce won here last year in 10.81 but I doubt we’ll see that kind of time from anyone in this field today unless helped by wind. Nobody is in particularly great form and it might be an opportunity for another Jamaican, Simone Facey, who has gone 11.00 and 11.05 this year to make a good impression.K.C. Graham: I am really happy for Facey, who is making a big comeback this season and I expect her to improve on her season’s best of 11.00 seconds. However, I think they will all have to chase English Gardner, who likes this track and this is home for her as she has scored several wins in the past here including NCAA titles for Oregon. I think she could go sub-10.90.Lowe: She had a close win last year in the ‘B’ race over Elaine Thompson in 10.84 and like you said, loves to compete here in front of her fans from college days. She has also gone 11.04 this year too and has been bouncing around in the hotel and looking quite eager to step on the track.K.C. Graham: The race is going to be very close though as Barbara Pierre, the Indoor 60 metres champion, is bubbling with confidence while Ahoure and Bartoletta want to do well. I think Fraser-Pryce will just go through the motions here as coach Stephen Francis is a smart guy and is waiting for Rio but you know as a Nike athlete she has to show up for this meet.Lowe: I think she wants to do more than just show up here. She has missed several training sessions and is running out of time before trials. She won’t risk further injury – I don’t think, but she’ll certainly want to give herself and her coach a real opportunity to see just where they are at this point. I think Ahoure has this one covered. She’s been working well so far this season especially on the final phase. She wins a close one ahead of Gardner. A healthy finish will be key for SFP at this stage, a fast time would be a bonus and winning is not her primary focus here.K.C. Graham: You can take this trifecta to the bank my friend. It is Gardner from Ahoure from a fast finishing Okagbare for third.Lowe: Thank you but I’ll pass, my record so far speaks for itself so let me reiterate. Ahoure over Gardner. Third place is up for grabs.
DELIGHTED AT RECOGNITION She said that she is delighted to know that her achievements have been noted not just in Jamaica, but all across the world, in places that are not traditionally known for producing good swimmers. Atkinson’s feat followed another historic moment in black history in aquatics as American swimmer Simone Manuel also made history at the 2016 Rio Olympics, becoming the first African-American female swimmer to win an Olympic medal in an individual event. “We’re seeing a lot of people from the African nations, the minorities coming out more, swimmers in the Caribbean, and it’s truly fantastic to think that I may have been a part of that, so to break the world record as well, it kind of cements what I have done. It’s just showing that it wasn’t a one-time thing, this girl is the fastest person to ever have swam this event to date,” Atkinson said. “She’s a Jamaican, she’s a person of colour and she’s … well, a female. I think it’s something we can all sit back and think about, because it’s truly a remarkable thing – the fastest person ever to come from Jamaica in swimming.” However, Atkinson said that she is not going to stop there and she is aiming to set even faster times this year. “That is always the goal, to go faster,” she said. “But right now, I’m going to control the things I can, and that’s just getting better and trying to better my stroke and my technique and with that should come faster times.” RJR SportS Foundation Sportswoman of the Year runner-up, Alia Atkinson, said that it is a fulfilling feeling knowing that her world-record swim in the 50-metre breaststroke last year can inspire a new generation of black female swimmers. Atkinson set the record in a time of 28.64 seconds at the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup in Tokyo, Japan, last October, becoming the first black swimmer to hold a world record on her own after equalling the old record the previous August. “It’s truly something remarkable to sit back and know that I’ve inspired one person, much less thousands of other people from all the different countries,” Atkinson told The Gleaner.
“It’s been challenging but it’s been fun. Challenging (because) the school needs a good netball court but really fun and rewarding because they are like sponges and so many of our young people want guidance,” she added. The netball team, under the guidance of coach, Christopher Smart, won the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Under 19 Urban title last year. “There is so much respect and admiration that the players have for him (Smart) and the way he interacts with them. The discipline is very important and so they know that once they step on the court for training or matches, Excelsior’s brand becomes foremost in their minds and so far I couldn’t find a better way to spend the free time that I have time now,” she added. Bernard, who is an accountant by training, and was also treasurer for the International Netball Federation before stepping down from that role a few years ago, said the experience she gained at the higher level helped her in her current role. Bernard makes all the arrangements for matches such as player registration, hydration, transportation, and in conjunction with the school’s sports department, helps to monitor the movement of students between training, matches and home. “I couldn’t sit down and not let my sport be a part of the disciplines that are doing well,” she explained. The programme is a holistic one and the girls are helped with their homework and as she calls it taught “soft skills”. “It’s the soft skills that a lot of these girls need and they’re going to leave school and go out into the working world and I want to impart some of the skills I learnt from my parents,” she said. THEY WANT GUIDANCE After finding satisfaction in giving back to her alma mater Excelsior High School former Netball Jamaica president Marva Bernard is encouraging other women to do the same. Bernard, who left the top post at Netball Jamaica in 2015 after 10 years at the helm, was moved by the way many from all alumnae of prominent all boys institutions have already mastered the art of giving back. “There is a need for those of us who have the time to give back. I would like to see many more women just coming back and giving back to their high school. If it makes a difference in just one person’s life it is worth it,” she told The Gleaner. Since last July, Bernard has been the effective manager of Excelsior High School’s ‘lady eagles’ netball team. She said she was inspired to take on the role after observing Excelsior Old Boys Desmond Shakespeare and track team head coach David Riley in action. “I said ‘this is my school and I have a lot of time on my hands’ and it’s a no brainer because working with young people is something I enjoy and the girls need us to come back to help with that part of the programme because we have been doing well in so many areas,” she said.
But Gimenez was the latest player to go down, hurting a left leg muscle in the Liga win at Las Palmas over the weekend. Gimenez is a central defender but was playing as a right back to replace Torres, who was out with a hamstring ailment. Torres’ immediate substitute at right back is Sime Vrsaljko, but he has been sidelined because of a left knee injury, and is not expected to be back in time for the first leg, even though he has already returned to training. Without a specialist right back, Simeone could use his other central defender, Sefan Savic. That would mean adding youngster Lucas Hernandez to the middle of the defence to replace Savic, who has played as a right back for Montenegro. That would break up the solid duo of Savic and Diego Godin, who have started most matches in central defence. “The absences are important because it will be a new situation for the player who will have to play in that position,” Simeone said. “But this is a team sport and the rest of the squad can make up for that.” The coach may also improvise by playing a midfielder such as Saul Niguez or Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion on the right side, where Real is expected to do most of their attacking through Cristiano Ronaldo and left back Marcelo. Ronaldo, who prepared for the entire season to be in his best physical condition at this point, scored five goals in the quarterfinals against Bayern Munich. Marcelo, Real’s assist leader, scored the winner against Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday. Atletico’s defence struggled early this season when Simeone tried different formations in an attempt to make the team more attack-minded, but the changes led to more goals being conceded and a loss of valuable points early on in the Spanish league. The coach has found the right balance, keeping the team unbeaten in 11 games and conceding only four goals in its last 12 matches in all competitions. Atletico are virtually out of the title race in the Spanish league. They are fighting Sevilla for third place, but their focus is solely on eliminating Real and getting another shot at the European title that has eluded the club so far. Atletico also lost the final in 1974, to Bayern Munich. MADRID (AP): Atletico Madrid might not be able to rely on their mighty defence when they resume their run at the Champions League title. Atletico’s backline has been depleted by injuries and coach Diego Simeone will have to improvise when his team takes on Real Madrid today in the first leg of their semifinal. Simeone won’t be able to count on key defensive players such as Jose Gimenez and Juanfran Torres for the game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, and they may not even recover in time for the second leg at Vicente Calderon Stadium next week. “We will find the solutions,” Simeone said, staying positive. Atletico have lost three straight times to Real in the Champions League, including the 2014 and 2016 finals. The same stout defence which helped to carry Atletico to those finals has earned the team the best record in the Spanish league, with only 25 goals conceded in 35 games.